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Warlark 80 mini FPV quadcopter in depth review

Warlark 80 FPV Flyer

Value for money - 8
Flight Performance - 8
Flight Time - 6.5
FPV performance - 7.8

7.6

Summary: The Warlark 80 is as the name implies a tiny 80mm FPV flyer, the perfect size for a beginner flyer looking for something they can fly indoors and out. Notable features include the 600TVL FPV camera, video transmitter with OSD, Betaflight compatible flight controller, and your choice of receiver.

It also comes with your choice of DSM2, FRSky, FLYSKY or Futaba protocol so you can fly it with pretty much any transmitter.

Pros

  • Agile flyer
  • Built in OSD
  • Well protected props

Cons

  • 3-4 minute flight times
  • Top shell slightly loose

Get it for $96.77

Introduction

I received the Warlark 80 in the middle of the cold Arctic month that us in the Midwest call February which as you may know means the ground is usually covered with snow. Some of you will probably agree with me — it isn’t very fun flying outside in the cold wet snow and this is where the Warlark 80 came into play.

This small 80mm quadcopter features an F3 based flight controller, a 600TVL camera, a 40CH 25mW FPV transmitter, and 3-4 minutes of flight time. In my experience this was the perfect setup for some indoor flying and when the weather clears up it’s also surprisingly a great outdoor flyer.

I talk about all of this in a lot more detail below so feel free to skim through it to find the information you’re looking for below.

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Flight performance

Flight performance right out of the box was pretty stellar and most of the experience I have flying it is using the factory settings.

The pitch, roll, and yaw speed on the Warlark 80 are very high with the default settings but also provide a high amount of control which means there are no problems maneuvering around furniture and other indoor obstacles.warlark 80 side

Usually the hardest thing about flying these small FPV racers outdoors is having to fight against the wind, fortunately during my testing we had some high winds so I was able to gauge the performance in these conditions.

The results are that it can actually fly fairly well in up to 10mph winds, you do have to fight the wind a little bit but it isn’t hard to do. This surprised me quite a bit as normally these little quadcopters tend to struggle against higher winds.

To arm the Warlark 80 you have to pull your throttle stick to the bottom right, I did find that when you do this the quadcopter occasionally spins to the right as soon as you arm.

warlark 80 battery bay

Flight times are 3-4 minutes which isn’t fantastic but when you consider the size, the video transmitter, and advanced flight controller these times are pretty reasonable. The battery connector is a LOSI/Walkera type which is pretty common so you can easily get more batteries for extra flight time.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with how it performs in flight and would honestly recommend it on that alone.

Design

The Warlark 80 design heavily borrows from the Inductrix designs of which there are a few clones like the JJRC H36 and Eachine E010. This design features air ducts which double as prop guards, a removable battery, a removable top shell, and that’s just the body.

warlark 80 propeller duct

The Warlark 80 hardware is a major upgrade to these clones featuring a compact stacked system with Betaflight compatible Scisky micro F3 flight controller on the bottom and a 25mW 40CH FPV transmitter with built in OSD on the top.warlark 80 fpv transmitter

This system is also made even more modular by having connectors for the motors and camera so if you were to break one of the 2 they could quickly be swapped.

warlark 80 flight controller

On the subject of propellers they use a 4 bladed prop system which as I mentioned before are protected nearly completely by the air ducts and I can’t recall ever changing a prop on a quadcopter with these air ducts.

Specifications

  • Flight Time: 3-4 minutes
  • Camera: 600TVL CMOS
  • Video Transmitter: 25mW 40CH
  • Weight: 36.6g
  • Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 3 cm

Items Included

1 x Warlark 80
1 x 300mAh LiPo battery
1 x USB Charger
1 x Spare prop set

Camera

warlark 80 camera

The camera that comes with the Warlark 80 is decent when you consider the total price of the quadcopter and overall is extremely usable. There isn’t a whole lot to talk about specification wise other than it is a 600TVL camera and the FOV isn’t super high.

You are able to adjust the angle of the camera by moving the 2 PCB tabs that hold the camera in place into a different slot. Out of the box it is angled at the second highest upwards angle which was okay but I found that by moving it up to the highest upward angle it was a much better flying experience and I could move faster.

As I mentioned above I think the FOV could be a little bit higher because when you have a higher FOV the camera angle is less important. I found with the Warlark 80 I had to angle the camera so that it would be facing forward at top speed, otherwise the camera would point to the ground and slow me down.

warlark 80 camera angle

The camera is also pretty light sensitive to the point where it occasionally switches to black and white when going under the shadow of trees, this color change isn’t a big deal and the image is still the same quality.

OSD Overview

OSD is something that isn’t very common on these smaller FPV racers and it’s one of the main reasons I was interested in the Warlark 80. OSD stands for on screen display and in essence acts as a middle man between your camera and transmitter allowing you to overlay flight information which gets transmitted to your FPV receiver.

The OSD feature that comes built into the FPV transmitter shows information like battery voltage, flight time, pitch/roll, low voltage warning, and allows you to change flight controller settings via FPV. My favorite thing about it is that it can display your total flight time rather than total on time, this is accomplished by only recording time when the quadcopter is armed.

While flying using FPV I found that a lot of the time I tuned out the pitch/roll indicators since the majority of the time you’re flying too fast for them to be useful and I ended up turning them off.

Changing Warlark 80 settings over FPV

The OSD they’ve decided to use is MW OSD based which in addition to being a cheap easy way to add OSD also gives us the ability to change settings without hooking up to a computer. Changing the settings is easy and we’ll quickly go over how to do it below.

  1. Center your throttle and yaw to the right
  2. Push your pitch to the up position
  3. Congrats, you’re in the settings menu
  4. Pitch up/down to select setting and yaw left/right to change values
  5. When the cursor is on the bottom of the menu use left/right roll to select between page and save

warlark 80 fpv settings

This settings menu provides an easy way to change a few vital settings like your PID’s, rates, and some other misc settings like battery cell count. The battery cell count is one thing I recommend to change because it defaults to 4 so it will constantly say low voltage if you don’t change the cell count to 1.

Note: Try to be as quick as possible when changing settings as the OSD tends to overheat and freeze when there is no airflow over the chip.

Binding Warlark 80 to transmitter

Binding the quadcopter is yet again another super easy thing which I will quickly show you how to do below.
(Note: This was using the DSM2 protocol, other binding procedures may be different and you should check the manual)

  1. Prepare your transmitter by opening the binding settings
  2. Loosely connect the battery so that it isn’t powering on the Warlark 80 but you can easily make it power up with one hand
  3. While holding the button on the front of the quadcopter connect the battery to give it power.
  4. Wait 1 second then quickly start the binding process on your transmitter
  5. The red LED on the quadcopter should slowly blink and then turn solid meaning a successful bind

warlark 80 indicator led

If the red LED starts blinking rapidly that means that you didn’t bind the quadcopter properly and you should repeat the above steps.

Changing Warlark 80 FPV frequency

warlark 80 frequency leds

Changing the frequency that FPV is transmitted on is a pretty easy process with this quadcopter and I’ll quickly show you how to do it.
(Note: Yellow LEDS = band, Red LEDS = channel)

  1. Center your throttle stick
  2. Rapidly press the the small button on the quadcopter twice, the LEDs should change to display current frequency
  3. Use the chart below to find the band and channel you want to set it to.
  4. Pitch up or down to change the band and roll left or right to change the channel
  5. When you’re done move the throttle stick up or down to save and the LEDS should flash

warlark 80 fpv frequencies

Criticisms

Very rarely is any quadcopter perfect and there were a few things that I didn’t like or that didn’t work as advertised, while they are minor but they are still there.

The plastic shell that covers all the electronics tends to pop off in the event of a crash because it doesn’t really “snap” in place but rather is pressure fit.

USB connectivity was the other issue I had with this one, my micro USB connector came not soldered correctly which meant I wasn’t able to use Betaflight to configure it. Fortunately as I talked about before you are able to change some settings like PID’s, rates, and other misc settings over FPV so it isn’t completely hindered in that regard even without USB.

Final thoughts

Overall I think the Warlark 80 is a pretty good deal for someone looking for something small that they can fly in pretty much any scenario. The advanced flight system they’ve used really works well with the small frame and while it has a relatively low flight time I still get a lot of enjoyment out of it. So to cut it short I would definitely recommend this quadcopter and if you do want more flight time consider picking up some extra batteries when you purchase.

 

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One comment

  1. Nice review, I just ordered this even with the issues being known. I also ordered some Raspberry pi heat-sinks to see if I cant manage the OSD heating issue. The chip looks to be about the size of the pi’s lan chip.

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